Friday, August 30, 2013

the first seven states revisited...

Don't worry. 
I won't do a post about each of the twenty-one states we visited on our road trip.
This is the 'Reader's Digest' condensed version!
In fact...
today I'll take you all the way from the west coast...
through to Illinois.

We just whizzed through Washington, Idaho and Montana.
The beautiful landscape got captured periodically through the dirty windows of the RV...
there was no time to stop.
We had driven this route several times before...
up to Billings, Montana.
From there we headed north on highway 94...
previously uncharted territory for us.

The Badlands of North Dakota...
quite an amazing area.
We stopped...
and actually spent some time at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Roosevelt hunted here in 1883...
got his bison and fell in love with the area.
He bought property in North Dakota...
owned and operated two ranches...
and wrote three books about his life at this time.

After his death...
this property was set aside in his memory...
developed over the years...
and in 1947 it officially became Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

It encompasses more than 70,000 acres...
and is North Dakota's number one tourist destination.
Some call it 'The Land God Forgot'...
others find it the most eerily beautiful place they have laid eyes on.
I'm thinking it resembles a lunar landscape.

We carried on east through North Dakota...

...through farmlands and prairie landscapes.

Two days after leaving home...
we arrived in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
We put down stakes at the community campground...
and stayed for a few days.
How fun to meet up with family from Manitoba and Iowa...
and have a mini-reunion in Minnesota.

There were sixteen of us in all...
roasting wieners and playing cards on the shores of Pebble Lake.
It was all good...
except the mosquitoes!

Oh...and I met up with two more gals here that I had never met before.

Morgan and Brooklyn...
my two grand-nieces from Manitoba are first cousins.
It was a fun time.

After parting ways...
we carried on through Minneapolis...

...and crossed the Mississippi River into Wisconsin.

Soon we were rolling through farmland...

...and breathing in air that smelled like home.
Just saying!

Our campground in DeForest was right next to Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet.
We paid a visit...
stocked up on cheese...
and enjoyed Wisconsin cheese for the rest of our journey.

We also spent some time in Madison...
the state capital.

It's a lovely city...
with a farmer's market in the downtown core when we were there.
It is also a university town...
and students were just arriving to start their year of classes.
We joined them to eat our lunch along the shore of Lake Mendota.
And then we carried on down the road...
to Illinois.

Next stop...


  1. good morning! I am going to enjoy going om these glimpses of your travels with you! looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing with us! Enjoy your long week-end!

  2. Wow! I like your condensed version of your cross country trip, Judy. The photos of the scenery are amazing. It's very beautiful and so varied. It was nice to travel along with you. Happy holiday weekend!

  3. I enjoyed tagging along on your road trip while sipping my coffee and eating my cereal. These are all states that I have not been to yet.

  4. Such variety on the continent! I've never taken the northern route so it's all new to me and most interesting.

  5. We have road our motor bike through the bad lands....after that the trip was all new to me. Such varied countryside....I liked your reader digest version.

  6. This is great Judy. It makes me want to do some more exploring of this amazing North American Continent! You are doing a great job of documenting your trip.

  7. Beautiful scenes. I myself would have enjoyed the long version of the travel journal!
    Someday I'd like to go to Madison and see the Draper Manuscripts there. A full day ought to be a good start digging into to that.

  8. Loved taking the reader's digest tour of where you have been Judy! A young family we know is doing a reverse trip to move back here from Chicago and I've been following a couple photos they have posted, one including the badlands. It's great that a family reunion could be thrown in the mix!!

  9. I found the story of Roosevelt National Park so interesting! I hear that once people establish homes in North Dakota, they end up staying there. I am not sure the badlands would be a place I would choose to visit, although I would like to drive through them.

    I am sure your relatives counted it a real privilege to spend time with you.
    Looking forward to the next part of your journey.

  10. Thanks for taking us along though I would have enjoyed the long version as well! The bad lands are so different from anything I have ever seen...not sure I could adjust to them. T. Roosevelt Nat'l Park sounds interesting...maybe I should look up his biographies. A great trip.
    Farm Gal in VA

  11. How fun!! However I can't imagine "whizzing" through my beautiful Montana :-)
    Looks like you've seen some awesome places, all so different.. Love that you had a little family reunion...I think families should do that more often...every 3 years is my wish....maybe 2 :-)
    Looking forward to what you've yet to share !


  12. I am LOVING it!!! You are amazing! What a gift you have for doing the Readers Digest Condensed Version - and STILL showing us the best of the high lights! I love how you did this and will stay tuned for the next edition!!!

  13. Wisconsin would be my pick of the day. Beautiful photos to keep your memories going. It's fun to whiz by and see your top 'picks'
    It was more fun hearing you share from the heart today.

  14. This is a roundabout way of reaching Judy at Just a Little Something for You which I started reading after your blog post on visiting her. (I am not a blogger and she does not have an anonymous setting so that I can comment on her posts.) Just wanted her to know how much I enjoyed today's post and scripture verse--one I keep reminding myself of......Do Not Worry. I am a birder and love "all things bird"! Some of the houses, and the feeders in particular, are so unique and interesting. I love the little one looking out the window!
    Farm Gal in VA

    1. Farm Gal...I forwarded your encouraging note along to Judy. I so enjoyed her 'birding' post as well. The 'roundabout mail system' works just fine...but if you want to contact her directly, she has an e-mail address on her profile page.

    2. I am glad you visited is as beautiful as your pictures showed it to be. I think the year round farmer's market (moves indoors for winter)is one of the best in the country.

  15. I enjoyed this synopsis, Judy! You saw some states we missed on our journeys back and forth from the east to Colorado. We always traveled a little lower, on Interstate 80. We did visit the Badlands National Park in South Dakota a few years ago -- it had the same mysterious and interesting landscape!

  16. PS: The baby girls are adorable and of course I love "Brooklyn"'s name :)


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson